This is a weekly feature that will highlight The Good, The Bad and The *fill in the blank* exciting things that are currently happening in the NHL. Uh oh – when was the last report on Sidney Crosby’s status? Will the Blackhawks acquire a new goalie before the playoffs? Will Raffi Torres cry when he returns to Vancouver as a Coyote on Monday? Hockey is a world where nothing is for certain; except a yes, in answer to that last question.
The Good: The Canucks Game: A Rom-Com Story
I love movies. Comedy is a great genre but has anyone else noticed its format is a little too similar to the way a certain team we know and love has been playing of late? Try to follow along:
First period: As the movie begins, and the key characters are introduced, you feel happy and optimistic about what it is you’re about to watch, presumably with a drink in hand. Also, you immediately like the main hero and want to cheer for him. You discover his motivation: in a romantic comedy it is always about attaining a love interest. But there are obstacles and antagonists. Maybe the hero has competition that he has to outsmart, outperform and outplay. At this point you calmly finish your first drink.
Second Period: By the halfway point you start to realize that your hero has flaws. Lots of them. He makes bad decisions that seem to go against his end goal. You find yourself screaming at him “You idiot! She loves you too, just call her!” Instead, your hero gives up, gets on a bus and heads out of town. The ending seems doomed at this point and makes you want to give up and cry. Insert supporting characters that attempt to inject some life into the story as they try to distract you from your disappointment and the reality of what is about to be lost. Boom. This is when you drink more. Maybe reaching for something a little stronger.
Third Period: But wait, this is a romantic comedy! And we all know that a universal rule of these films is that they must always have a happy ending (Editors Note: and also a scene where the couple gets wet, somehow, and has a hot make-out sesh). You optimistically start cheering again and just like that, you see the hero come to his senses and realize that he CAN get the girl. He pulls himself together, finds his inner strength and goes for it. He is ready to walk through fire and kill a bear to get what he wants. Him and the girl belong together. It is not easy though, especially since his competition wants to obtain the same thing. But believing in himself is what makes the hero prevail and after some moments of uncertainty, he ends up winning the girl and then they drink champagne as they fly to Vegas.
By this point you are just so happy after all the drinks you have consumed, that you jump up and down in your living room giggling at what you have just witnessed.
Yes, I just compared watching a Canucks game with a romantic comedy. I love happy endings. I want another 28 of them before April 8th please, Canucks.
The Bad: The Trade Deadline
Why is this bad? Having to endure another two weeks of rumors and getting our hopes up of potential player pickups. Shea Weber is not coming to Vancouver people … it is best that we just accept this now. I am sure I was not the only one that kept having visions of Shea in a Canucks jersey during Tuesday’s game against the Predators. It is simply not healthy for our fragile Vancouver minds to dream of things that are so perfectly ideal. Plus I still fear that we are going to lose Keith Ballard and I don’t want that to happen. I want to see him turn in his Dman card and be given a chance on the left wing. What if that is all it takes for the Canucks to turn their game around and start dominating like we know they can? What if that is what finally gets him out of AV’s doghouse for good and makes him the new Aaron Rome? Stranger things have happened and I am willing to believe in, and pray for, all sorts of miracles right about now.
Trade deadline also means that the playoffs are approaching and I am scared. There are so many unknowns, like will Chris Higgins ever be the same again? He is such an important component of the team that his health and ensuing stability being so uncertain, is worrisome. Will Henrik be out with an injury and give us a glimpse of a terrible Canucks world without him? Luongo has been doing well and his confidence has risen, but will it be enough for him to keep it together throughout the spring run? See trade deadline – see what you are doing???
And NHL’s Heroes and Villains
Congratulations Sam Gagner for being amazing. Last week no one knew who you were and now you are a hockey god. Aaron Rome used to be that … long ago it seems. Hopefully your hot streak lasts longer than his did. However where Rome failed, you’ve excelled. Tying a record with The Great One, 8 points in a single game, is something to be applauded. Amassing 15 points in just 5 games is either a freak stroke of luck, or a sign that you are much better than you have been given credit for. If nothing else, you have given Edmonton something to cheer for. Good for you.
The Boston Bruins are still bullies and in their game against the Buffalo Sabres Wednesday night, the schoolyard tactics were once again deployed as fists were flying and names were called. They did everything but resort to hair pulling. Now, nothing says "I’m a Canucks fan" like taking joy in the Bruins being badly defeated. It is petty yes, but it feels so good so just go with it.
If you recall, back in November Milan Lucic ran over Ryan Miller and since then the two teams have harbored much animosity. Because I have a profound admiration for Ryan Miller, the fact that he stopped all 36 shots from Boston (one of those was an almost goal but was called off) and shut them out, makes me unnaturally happy. Boston was shut out by Buffalo and that right there, is karma. Think about that Bruins. Think about it while you kiss your Stanley Cup rings!